Living with an autoimmune disease can be challenging (and even downright miserable at times). Pain, fatigue, headaches, and digestive issues are just a few of the reoccurring autoimmune disease symptoms that people routinely struggle with.
Finding relief from autoimmune disease symptoms can seem like an impossible feat. But, have you ever noticed that some days and weeks are better than others and wondered why? It may have to do with how we go about our daily routines.
Have you lacked quality sleep or eaten on the run recently? Skipped your morning yoga session or faced a stressful situation (or three) lately? At first, these things may seem insignificant. Over time, though, they add up and take a toll on our bodies, causing inflammation levels to rise.
Inflammation can be acute, like when we cut our finger, and our body sends inflammatory cells to heal it. Inflammation can also be chronic. Chronic inflammation is when our bodies continue sending inflammatory responses when there is no longer a present danger.
For example, in rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory cells intermittently attack the joint cells, leading to pain and even deformity. Chronic inflammation attacks the thyroid gland in Hashimoto's thyroiditis, leading to hypothyroidism or low thyroid.
In many cases, implementing natural ways to reduce the overall inflammation in our bodies can make a difference. Lower inflammation often decreases the severity of autoimmune disease symptoms and even disease progression.
We’ve put together three tips for living with an autoimmune disease if you're tired of autoimmunity flare-ups. If you can incorporate these suggestions into your lifestyle, they could make a massive difference in your inflammation levels and symptoms.
3 tips for living with an autoimmune disease:
1. Eat whole foods and reduce processed foods.
Eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, fatty fish, and seeds can promote anti-inflammatory properties. These foods are high in antioxidants and polyphenols, protective compounds found in plants.
In addition, it may be just as essential to avoid foods that promote inflammation like sugar, fried, fast, and convenience foods. These foods tend to be high in trans fats, processed meats, refined carbohydrates, and other inflammatory chemicals.
2. Get plenty of rest.
Research has shown that losing just a few hours of sleep can promote the production of inflammation that damages tissue throughout the body. When we sleep, our bodies repair and restore themselves. Providing adequate time for this restoration is critical.
A lack of sleep also causes cortisol, the primary stress hormone, to rise. Cortisol levels can then remain high for extended periods. Aiming for at least seven hours of shut-eye a night on a consistent schedule can help reduce cortisol levels, lowering inflammation.
3. If you're able, incorporate daily exercise.
Implementing physical activity into your daily routine can be especially helpful if you live with an autoimmune disease. Studies have shown that just twenty minutes of briskly walking can reduce levels of inflammation. Plus, body fat lost and muscle gained through physical activity is shown to reduce inflammatory cytokines.
Physical activity is also great for relieving stress. Stress is common when living with an autoimmune disease. It's also frequently a trigger of autoimmune disease symptoms. Lowering stress has a strong connection to inflammation reduction as well.
With autoimmunity, your immune system is already in a heightened state. If you implement these three tips for living with an autoimmune disease, you could have success in reducing symptoms. After all, improved diet, exercise, and sleep have benefits beyond autoimmunity.
If you’re still looking for help living with an autoimmune disease, Mymee is here. Our expert Care Team is your partner in identifying your autoimmune disease triggers. Plus, we work with you to eliminate them to find relief from your symptoms.